One of my favorite events in Western New York takes place this weekend, as the annual Gus Macker three-on-three basketball tournament returns to Niagara Square. This will be the 19th Macker held downtown, and it seems to get better and better with each passing year. We'll have an advance of the event in the paper later this week, but until then, here's some of the details.
There are more than 960 registered teams, about 975 including the corporate division, accounting for about 4,000 players. That makes it the largest Macker in the country. Combined with spectators, about 40,000 to 50,000 people are expected. The people watching and festival-like atmosphere make the event a great time, even for non-hoops junkies.
The most controversial news about this year's Macker may be the plan to award two champions in the top men's division. With so many teams (about 35) and only so much time, organizers will hold top men's title games on courts one and two. Of course, that leads to a situation like last year, when the winning Darling Paints team of Charlie Comerford, Damone Brown, Nick Parisi and Jason Rowe waited for nearly 75 minutes before taking on Family Ties for an "unofficial championship" and bragging rights.
What's your opinion? Should there be two champions, or should the Macker find a way to let the division winners play against each other?
And if you've got favorite Macker memories, be sure to add them here in the comments section below.
taggedBasketball | Gus Macker